Posts Tagged With: Wicca

Let’s Talk Witch – The Goddess


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

Let’s Talk Witch – The Goddess

 

The Goddess is the universal mother. She is the source of fertility, endless wisdom and loving caresses. As the Wicca know Her, She is often of three aspects: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, symbolized in the waxing, full and waning of the Moon. She is at once the unploughed field, the full harvest and the dormant, frost-covered Earth. She gives birth to abundance. But as life is Her gift, She lends it with the promise of death. This is not darkness and oblivion, but rest from the toils of physical existence. It is human existence between incarnations.

Since the Goddess is nature, all nature, She is both the Temptress and the Crone; the tornado and the fresh spring rain; the cradle and the grave.

But though She is possessed of both natures, the Wicca revere Her as the giver of fertility, love and abundance, though they acknowledge Her darker side as well. We see Her in the Moon, the soundless, ever-moving sea, and in the green growth of the first spring. She is the embodiment of fertility and love.

The Goddess has been known as the Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Gods that Made the Gods, the Divine Source, the Universal Matrix, the Great Mother, and by countless other titles.

Many symbols are used in Wicca to honor Her, such as the cauldron, cup, labrys, five-petalled flowers, the mirror, necklace, seashell, pearl, silver, emerald.-.. to name a few.

As She has dominion over the Earth, sea and Moon, Her creatures are varied and numerous. A few include the rabbit, the bear, the owl, the cat, dog, bat, goose, cow, dolphin, lion, horse, wren, scorpion, spider and bee. All are sacred to the Goddess.

The Goddess has been depicted as a huntress running with Her hounds; a celestial deity striding across the sky with stardust falling from Her heels; the eternal Mother heavy with child; the weaver of our lives and deaths; a Crone walking by waning moonlight seeking out the weak and forlorn, and as many other beings. But no matter how we envision Her, She is omnipresent, changeless, eternal.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Scott Cunningham

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Goddesses | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

WOTC Extra (b) – What does Wicca have to do with magic?


Celtic Comments & Graphics

What does Wicca have to do with magic?

 

Once again, it depends on who you ask, and for Wiccans who don’t practice magic of any kind, the answer is probably “nothing.” However many, many Wiccans do include magic in their practice, to the point that the two are combined in many Wiccan books and resources— including this very guide!

Most Witches will refer to their practice of magic as Witchcraft, but may use either term. And of course, the word “magic” is also a bit tricky, as it has its own set of meanings.

“Ceremonial magic” is older than Wicca and was an original influence for what would eventually become Wicca, but it’s actually a practice in its own right—in other words, not part of the religion. This ceremonial magic has several differences from the magic practiced by Witches. Ceremonial magic was derived from occult traditions through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , and is often quite elaborately ritualized. The term “high magic” is sometimes used to distinguish it from Witchcraft, which is called “folk magic” or even “low magic” by many of its practitioners. Some who practice ceremonial magic may identify as Pagans but are not Wiccans or Witches. Some simply identify as magicians.

What some call “practical magic” is a kind of ceremonial magic aimed at achieving common life improvements, such as healing physical or emotional ills, attracting love, and improving one’s finances. Some Wiccans see this form of magic as non-spiritual and distinct from Wicca, but others blend the two by performing magic in alignment with their deities and for the good of all , rather than just for their own personal gain.

Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, Magic, and Witchcraft (Wicca Books Book 1)

Lisa Chamberlain

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WOTC Extra(a) – What’s the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft?


Celtic Comments & Graphics

What’s the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft?

 

Wiccans who don’t identify as Witches don’t use the term “Witchcraft” in association with their practice of Wicca— they don’t use magic, and they draw a distinction between Wicca as a spiritual practice and individual relationship with the divine, and witchcraft as a practice that is not necessarily spiritual. However, many Wiccans do blend magic into their practice to varying degrees, and may use “magic” as an interchangeable term with “Witchcraft” (often shortened to “the Craft”) in association with Wicca.

In fact, some Witches who practice Witchcraft don’t identify as Wiccan at all.

Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, Magic, and Witchcraft (Wicca Books Book 1)

Lisa Chamberlain

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WORDS TO THE WISE….


Witchy Comments & Graphics

WORDS TO THE WISE….

O daughters and sons of the Earth, adore the Goddess and God and be blessed with the fullness of life.

Know that They have brought you to these writings, for herein he our ways of Wicca, to serve and fulfill the keepers of wisdom, the tenders of the sacred flame of knowledge. Run the rites with love and joy, and the Goddess and God will bless you with all that you need. But those who practice dark magics shall know Their greatest wrath.

Remember that you are of the Wicca. No more do you trod the ways of doubt. You walk the path of light, ever climbing from shadow to shadow to the highest realm of existence. But though we’re the bearers of truths, others do not wish to share our knowledge, so we run our rites beneath moon filled skies enwrapped in shadows. But we are happy.

Live fully, for that is the purpose of life. Refrain not from earthly existence. From it we grow to learn and understand, until such time that we are reborn to learn more, repeating this cycle ’till we have spiralled up the path of perfection and can finally call the Goddess and God our kin.

Walk the fields and forests; be refreshed by the cool winds and the touch of a nodding flower. The Moon and Sun sing in the ancient wild places: The deserted seashore, the stark desert, the roaring waterfall. We are of the Earth and should revere Her, so do Her honor.

Celebrate the rites on the appropriate days and seasons, and call upon the Goddess and God when the time is meet, but use the Power only when necessary, never for frivolous ends. Know that using the Power for harm is a perversion of Life itself.

But for those who love and magnify love, the richness of life shall be your reward. Nature will celebrate.

So love the Goddess and God, and harm none!

 

 

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Scott Cunningham.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca | Tags: | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – What is Aspecting in Wicca or Witchcraft?

 

What is Aspecting in Wicca or Witchcraft?

 

The practice of aspecting with deities is part of what Wicca is all about. If you have already been practicing Wicca for a couple of years and have developed a particular relationship with a god or a goddess, then perhaps the time has come to try aspecting them. In regular ritual, invoking deity into yourself is usually unnecessary, although in formal ritual it can be an exciting and useful method to enhance your work. Aspecting is the deliberate invocation of a deity’s energy into your body for a specified period of time. The difference between aspecting and drawing down the moon or sun is that in aspecting, the Goddess or God is actually present within your body, and in drawing down the moon or sun, only lunar or solar energy is present.

 

Usually when you choose to aspect a deity, it’s because you think the deity’s energy will support or assist you to complete a task you need to perform, a direction you need to take, or an obstacle you need to work through. The deity energy will complement your own energy.

 

Never aspect a deity you have not studied, meditated upon, and come to know deeply Not only is it disrespectful—it’s dangerous. While aspecting can be a wonderful way to work closely with a deity, it’s hard to be prepared if you don’t know what to prepare for. Aspecting should only be done once you have an established relationship with the deity, and only as long as the deity seems to be amenable to the undertaking.

 

If you wish to embody a particular deity for an extended period of time, particularly outside of your ritual and the defined safety of your circle, make sure that you specify a limited time period for the aspecting to occur within. Aspecting should not change your behavior radically. If it does, you should do a ritual to release the deity energy as soon as possible.

 

There’s no rule that says a woman can only aspect a goddess, or a man only aspect a god. At times, we need a shot of the appropriate energy to achieve something in particular. Remember, too, that we all contain the energy of both God and Goddess, and we should never feel restrained from experiencing the energy of the opposite gender.

 

I performed the following healing ritual with four of my personal friends before an important surgery of a family member of one of the participants. After creating a strong circle, calling all four elements to be present, and asking the Lord and Lady to bless the proceedings with their presence, the man leading the ritual asked three of us to aspect specific deities in whatever fashion we desired. All three of us centered, grounded, breathed deeply, and drew the deities’ energy into us as per our own preferred method. All three of us were secure in what we were doing because we had worked with each deity previously, and because the three deities were from a single pantheon. While individually aspecting the deities was a powerful experience for each of us separately, the jolt of energy that passed among us when all three of us touched hands in the center of the circle was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had interacting with other deity energy while aspecting.

 

When you aspect on your own, your self-doubt can sometimes get in the way; you can question whether it actually happened, or whether you imagined it all. In a situation where you aspect with someone else, you can reinforce the other person’s experience by giving him or her feedback. The moment at which all three people aspecting touched hands convinced every single one of us that not only were we each aspecting, but the deity energy we were embodying recognized the other deity energies as well. As a solitary, you will likely not have the opportunity to aspect with others, but this experience can serve to illustrate how successful the practice can be.

 

 

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own

Arin Murphy-Hiscock

 

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Wicca v Witchcraft

Wicca v Witchcraft

Author: Irishdize

What are some of the differences between a Witch and a Wiccan?

Wiccans believe in and worship deities, usually a male and female God or a God and Goddess. Most Witches either worship only the Goddess or see the Goddess as a personification of nature, as I do. Wicca is one religion with laws, such as the Wiccan rede and the law of three. The rede says ‘an it harm none, do what ye will’. While I think it’s a wonderful law that covers just about everything you could ever wonder about, I don’t and cannot follow it. I simply instead do the best I can, given my circumstances. I don’t believe in ‘the law of three’ either which is whatever I send out ‘will come back to me times three’. I certainly believe in the law of Return, but it doesn’t work in quite the same way. Whatever I send out does return, but right away and is usually the exact same lesson reversed back at me. As you might surmise, I am not Wiccan.

Another key difference is that Wiccans will generally take gods and goddesses from mythology and call upon them for certain help, such as calling Aphrodite when they are doing a love spell. I simply do not need to use mythological deities to make my magic work; Magic is using natural energies that exist within me and around me in Nature to bring about change. In fact, one can believe that God doesn’t exist and still work Magic. Wiccans have a Wheel of the Year that they celebrate. There are eight holidays — starting on Oct 31st ‘Samhain’ or the Witches New Years. Their holiday structure has four high holy days and four low days as well as 13 Moons, some full and some new, when Magic is usually worked or divination is usually done.

I have random ritual days wherein I will spend the entire day or night in ritual, reading, contemplating, spirit dancing, or just connecting to the trees, rocks, the grass, whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes I will watch spiritually uplifting movies or listen to Native American music. Sometimes, I will just sleep or do readings by dice and Tarot. It’s all unplanned and very spontaneous whereas in Wicca, it’s usually planned down to the letter. Spells are written out before they are performed, as are rituals and of course, as I said, they know what day is a ritual day and what not. Most Wiccans I have encountered believe that their strongest magic can only happen on Full and New Moons. I disagree completely. Magic comes from within; it doesn’t matter what day or night one performs it and it doesn’t matter how well written your spell is or what tools you have (if you even have any tools) .

Most Wiccans have many tools and an Athame to direct energy or cast the circle. This is done for many reasons I am told: to create sacred space, to have a protective barrier against negative energies, lurking spirits or unexpected Visitors (human or animal) or to keep the magic within the circle until they are ready to send it out to do its purpose.

Witches like myself generally see no reason for a circle. Nature is holy; The Universe is Divine. There is no place in Nature that is not sacred already to us, so if the circle is being drawn for that reason, it isn’t needed. The energies that are around us at all times are both positive and negative, and while you can definitely put a mental shield up to protect yourself against such energies that cause you stress or harm, an imaginary circle isn’t needed. but by all means if you feel a need for it, who am I to say you shouldn’t do it?

Lurking spirits aren’t relevant to me as I don’t believe in spirits or ghosts and let me tell you something honestly, I have NEVER cast a circle in ritual while doing magic and never had my spells backfire or had any negative response. Sure, I’ve had spells that didn’t work because I didn’t put the right amount of effort into them but that had nothing to do with not casting an invisible circle or because I didn’t make the backyard sacred enough. As far as unexpected visitors or animals, my cat is just as sacred as the tree is so I am not worried about his energies affecting my work.

Many other tools that a Wiccan might have are cauldrons, mortar and pestle, wands, specific colored candles, incense, specific books by well respected authors, etc. I use only the following: Incense, Oils, Sage, Candles and Dice. I use Tarot Cards on occasion for personal insight, not to read the future. I do believe that you have to use specific colors to achieve certain goals but at the same time I KNOW that this isn’t true, I have used a yellow candle, for example, to bring money into my life and it worked because ultimately the candle is just a tool, Magic comes from within me and around me but I NEED what I NEED at the moment and candle colors represents some inner need, so I embrace that at the moment.

Books are of my own choosing. I read what I am drawn to read. A lot of the times, the books on my shelves are devotionals from different religions or books on Wicca (because that’s all I can find) . I have heard from several Wiccans that we should not read books written by certain authors. Let me tell you, read whatever feels right to you, whatever you are drawn to. Don’t worry about what another person thinks about you or your path. Maybe you need to read something in that book to teach you a lesson?

Of course, we Shadak Witches also have 108 Books of Shadak that we draw inspiration and wisdom from. These books have been handwritten or typed out by modern-day Witches with computers and are leather bound. These books are filled with the thoughts, ideas and opinions of our family members as well as instructions, rules and rule changes, counsel decisions and more and are to be read alongside any other books of our choosing.

Most Wiccans I have met believe in the Summerlands or life after death, ghosts, and angels. I’ve even heard some Wiccans speak of demons, which are from the Christian religion. I suspect these are Wiccans who were raised around Christianity.

I believe that when a person dies, their energy is reabsorbed back into Nature, back into the Goddess. I don’t believe in a traditional afterlife, so no Summerlands, no angels, no ghosts, no demons. I don’t believe in Jesus either -shocking, huh?

My altar is very simple, as well. I have two altars at the moment because I am living in my own apartment and then, part time, with my boyfriend. Both altars are just flat wooden tables. Both have candles on them, incense, oils, sage, some dice, Tarot Cards, books, flowers in a vase. Nothing elaborate; no statues, no athames, no pictures of the lord and lady, no pentacles…though I do wear a pentacle necklace and a pentacle ring, Both to me represent that I am Pagan, that I believe in the 4 elements and spirit and the six senses.

Most Wiccans have a year-and a-day of study. They can start out a bright-eyed bushy-tailed young teen ager and a year later become a High Priestess who doesn’t even know how to read tarot cards!

In Witchcraft, there either is no degree system at all — because progress is marked personally by how much we have learned or how much we have experienced — or there is a personal degree system such as the one that I follow which takes many YEARS to get through until you can become a High Priest. There are six levels within each degree in the system I follow and you earn a level by reading certain books and doing what you are supposed to do in the books. You do a simplistic ritual to see if you have earned a level. The die is instrumental in determining this.

Wiccans care very much about the rede and law of three. They don’t hurt people willy-nilly. But in The Tradition of Witchcraft I was raised in, we must wait for certain changes to happen. We must wait for the doors to open. This means that if I want to go to college, I must read The Books, cast the dice and wait for that door to open, Wiccans may just apply and attend school, not thinking about whether or not this is their intended path, whether or not they have taken a slot that someone else was supposed to have, etc. After all, what rule is there to follow other than the rede?

As far as sex, the body, life on Earth, we have similar views. Sex is sacred to most Wiccans and Witches and whatever someone does, as long as there isn’t harm, is all right. I’m gay and that’s perfectly accepted in both paths. The body is Holy.

Many Wiccans I have encountered tell me that Wicca is the religion and Witchcraft is just Magic. Magic is Magic, folks. You can be a Witch and NEVER practice Magic. There are many Traditions out there called Witchcraft and these people consider this to be their religion or spiritual path, as I do! If someone asked me what my religion was, I would say I am a Unitarian Universalist and a Solitary Eclectic Witch. I might also say that I am a Shadak Witch because Shadakism is the name of the tradition that I was raised in, It would depend on how much time I wanted to invest in explaining myself to the person I was talking with.

Magic is such a small part of being a Witch. I think I have been a Witch for 29 years and have done only about 50 spells in that entire time. Most of what I do is worship Nature, cook, garden, read, contemplate, dance, chant, cleanse, clean, watch TV, listen to music, have sex, walk in the woods, swim and cast dice, which are all parts of being a Witch. You should embrace your spiritual life as well as your ‘mundane’ life.

‘Blessed Be’ is usually a Wiccan saying, much like Merry Meet or Merry Part. Most Witches won’t say this when you meet them. It’s one good way to tell if the person you are speaking with is a Witch or a Wiccan… but some Witches will use the term if they are speaking with someone else who uses it. For example, my sister is Wiccan and will often end our conversations with “Blessed Be!” and out of respect I will also say it.

So, out of respect for the Wiccans who chose to read this, I say, “Blessed Be”!

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Let’s Talk Witch – Your Magical Tools


Fairy Comments & Graphics

Your Magical Tools

Tools can be helpful in creating a magical life. In Wicca, certain objects are traditionally used in ritual to help invoke the Deities, banish negativity, or direct energy. Your Craft tools can help you create the proper frame of mind or atmosphere for your magical work. They don’t need to be elaborate, but they should be special to you.

To better understand the role your tools play, think back to a time when you dressed up for a job interview or an important social event. What you wore made you feel better about yourself, and thus improved your chances for a successful outcome. You knew that your clothes didn’t really have magical powers, but there was no question that having the right outfit and accessories boosted your self-confidence, and THAT is why these things are important. Magical tools work the same way. They are a part of our rituals because they can help us focus our thoughts and generate the ideal atmosphere to work in.

In the next post, you will find a list of the most common tools and their general uses. While these items are not required to practice Wicca, you may want to collect some of them to enrich your rituals. You can shop for these tools in our Magical Store, or search through antique and second-hand shops for them. Some prefer to make their tools and infuse them with a little of their own energy.

In addition to the standard tools like the athame, cauldron or broom, use tools such as relaxing nature sounds and music, fragrance or aromatherapy, and candles, stones, pendants or even wands, to help you focus your thoughts. Just remember, these are ONLY tools, and not the real source of your power.

Wicca: A Beginner’s Guide to Earth Magic (Living Wicca Today Book 2)
Kardia Zoe

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Let’s Talk Witch – The Spiral of Rebirth

The Spiral of Rebirth

 

Reincarnation seems to be one of the most controversial spiritual topics of our time. Hundreds of books are being published on the subject as if the Western world had only recently discovered this ancient doctrine.

 

Reincarnation is one of Wicca’s most valuable lessons. The knowledge that this life is but one of many, that when the physical body dies we do not cease to exist but are reborn in another body answers many questions, but raises a few more.

 

Why? Why are we reincarnated? In common with many other religions, Wicca teaches that reincarnation is the instrument through which our souls are perfected. One lifetime isn’t sufficient to attain this goal; hence, the consciousness (soul) is reborn many times, each life encompassing a different set of lessons, until perfection is achieved.

 

No one can say how many lives are required before this is accomplished. We are human and it’s easy to fall into non-evolutionary behavior. Greed, anger, jealousy, obsession and all our negative emotions inhibit our growth.

 

In Wicca, we seek to strengthen our bodies, minds and souls. We certainly live full, productive earthly lives, but we try to do so while harming none, the antithesis of competition, intimidation and looking out for number one.

 

The soul is ageless, sexless, non-physical, possessed of the divine spark of the Goddess and God. Each manifestation of the soul (i.e., each body it inhabits on Earth) is different. No two bodies or lives are the same. If this wasn’t so, the soul would stagnate. The sex, race, place of birth, economic class and every other individuality of the soul is determined by its actions in past lives and the lessons necessary to the present.

 

This is of utmost importance in Wiccan thought: we decide the lay of our lives. There’s no god or curse or mysterious force of fate upon which we can thrust the responsibility for the trials in our lives. We decided what we need to learn in order to evolve, and then, it is hoped, during incarnation, work toward this progress. If not, we regress into darkness.

 

As an aid in learning the lessons of each life, a phenomenon exists which has been called karma. Karma is often misunderstood. It is not a system of rewards and punishments, but a phenomenon that guides the soul toward evolving action. Thusly, if a person performs negative actions, negative actions will be returned. Good brings good. With this in mind, there’s little reason to act negatively.

 

Karma means action and that’s how it works. It is a tool, not a punishment. There’s no way one can “wipe out” karma, and neither is every seemingly terrible event in our lives a byproduct of karma.

 

We learn from karma only when we’re aware of it. Many look into their past lives to discover their mistakes, to uncover the problems inhibiting progress in this one. Trance and meditation techniques can help here, but true self-knowledge is the best means of accomplishing this.

 

 
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Reincarnation | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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